Ludum Dare 31 — December 5th-8th, 2014 — Theme: Entire Game on One Screen

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Owl'd Hurricrash

by BarrensZeppelin - Compo Entry

You are an Owl. You are trapped between your nest and the sea in a massive hurricane.
Bring sweet l00t $$ to your nest while surviving the storm.

Tilt: A & D
Propel: Space (Realistic owl physics)

Owls don't breathe underwater and they starve within 10 seconds, so make sure to stay stocked up on fish.


Online scoreboard!
The hurricane has subsided slightly, the owl has doubled its energy efficiency overnight, and fish have grown fatter.

New control scheme:
WASD (Unable to submit score with this)
Press T to switch.

Also 90% sure I fixed the audio bug, but correct me if I'm wrong. This fix is in both the compo and PostJam build.


Note about the Mac version: A friend of mine bundled the game with Wine for me. I have no idea if it actually works.


I didn't like the theme very much, and I had a hard time brainstorming for game ideas, so I decided to take the opportunity to have lots of fun programming instead.
While the game lacks any kind of victory condition or goal, I certainly had a great time programming it and its whacky nature (except for the part where I spent 3 hours ironing out a bug in my first SAT collision implementation ever, but hey - it worked out in the end).

Any criticism is happily received.


Made with SFML:
And (Shameless plug):

Downloads and Links




Eponesh says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:10pm

The idea is excellent, good mechanics, the game is difficult. Score is not updating and after 7-8 attempts to play shows a blue screen.

Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:17pm

Thanks. I'll try to track down the nasty bug, and I guess I should've made it more clear, that you actually have to return to your nest.

ViliX64 says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:30pm

As mentioned before: nice mechanics!

chadheim says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:35pm

Good idea, freaking hard though. Maybe make the wind now so harsh?

Madball says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:36pm

This game is too realistic! Come on, I have never been an owl, and the first owl simulator I play is set up during a hurricane! Are you kidding? Real owls die in hurricanes, do you expect me to do better?
I mean, the game is difficult. After several attempts, I was able to get 43 score with 3 cash-ins. But other than the difficulty, I have no complaints. The game seems complete, polished and bugless. It could be a bit more varied, though.
Runs on 32-bit, but after 7-8 attempts the sound stops playing.

inkeystring says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:37pm

I like it..made me that you're at the whim of the wind. It's tough...but I like tough.

DaRaziel says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 3:38pm

Nice entry! I like it alot. The idea is great, the flight and wind mechanics are solid, the graphics are also nice (i like those refelctions on the water) and the sound fits in there too. I also had to laugh a lot when i smashed my owl against the rocks for the first time.

Dec 8, 2014 @ 4:02pm

@Madball Appreciate the comment. ;)

I can't seem to reproduce the bug though, will look further into it during the day. :(

Regarding difficulty, I totally agree that it's way too hard. I guess I've sinned the usual Ludum Dare sin.. After playing for 48 hours, you get quite good at the game.. ;)

Surprised that you actually seem to enjoy the game. ^^

Resonious says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 4:35pm

This game is actually kind of hilarious. I enjoyed it, good job haha. Also props for implementing collision yourself.

brainstorm says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 4:40pm

Innovation 3/5: A classic game. But this one have a hurricane.

Fun 3/5: Too difficult to control.

Theme 3/5: t simply is run in a single screen.

Graphics 5/5: The best thing of the whole game.

Audio 2/5: 2 sfx. Better than nothing.

Humor 4/5: Owl + hurrican = What the heck?

Mood 3/5: I don't really know what's that category. If someone could explain it to me...

Overal 3/5: Not a bad game, but it needs a better control.

Donutttt says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 5:59pm

Man that's a crazy owl, I like it. Controls were a little tricky but that was part of the fun. Nice work!

Pietdagamer says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 6:20pm

Lovin' the owl physics :)

Dec 8, 2014 @ 6:21pm

The idea is great, but I can't open RAR on mac. (Yes, I know the game is windows only, but I play windows games using Wine emulation layer)

SirJavaGaming says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 6:21pm

Greate graphics, but the game is very hard. I always crash, which is a bit frustrating. Whats about music?

angela says ...
Dec 8, 2014 @ 6:28pm

I like the concept and gave you high points for innovation, but its hard to learn to control. I think you should increase the time it takes to starve, at least at first, to give the player time to learn the controls.

Dec 8, 2014 @ 7:49pm

@Sri Harsha Chilakapati
Added a zip just for you. ;)

The game is indeed way too hard. :(
I was planning to add this windy sound, that had its volume changing according to the wind force, but I just never got around to it..

That's a great idea actually, that would definitely have solved a small part of the difficulty level. :)

abdurrahmankh says ...
Dec 9, 2014 @ 9:38pm

nice idea, I dont think its implemented very well but I loved the idea and the mechanics(the wind and stuff). sometimes the wind get too powerful you cant do anything, hard games are one thing. but loosing control sure doesnt feel good.
If the physics was a bit better It will make a very cool game.

two minor stuff:
1- I think arrows is better for the game, or any game that depends on space bar.
2- jumping sound doesnt fit.

I wish you good luck.

barryrowe says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 3:10am

Overall good concept. Really really difficult immediately. I like difficult games, but I fear this one might fall on the side of punishing instead of just difficult. The drowning bar and death animations are a good touch.

Mike Mezhenin says ...
Dec 10, 2014 @ 7:00pm

Although I didn't get how the orange bar is refilled.

Dec 10, 2014 @ 11:17pm

@Mike Mezhenin
Owh. I should probably have added some sort of in-game tutorial. I usually do that for LD games, don't know why I forgot it this time. :(

(For reference, the orange bar can be refilled by eating fish.)

Crushenator says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 12:06am

Wow this was intense. tough gameplay but I always say better too hard than too easy.

Jim Haslett says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 12:25am

Not sure what I'm doing wrong. The screen shakes, I hit space, and I'm flung off the screen instantly.

Dec 11, 2014 @ 9:44am

@Jim Haslett
Is this the Mac port? o:

BadPaul34 says ...
Dec 11, 2014 @ 12:54pm

Great graphics, but very very confusing :D
And I get many crashes and bugs ^^

Odefus says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 12:01am

An owl diving after fish? What kind of madness is this!? In all seriousness the wind is so hard and everything moves so fast that its very hard to score at all. I found my best bet was to try and hover at some point and hope some coins hit me in the face.

Concept is good though and with some tweaking it could be a very fun game. I did have fun with the game even as it is.

Pickens Inc. says ...
Dec 12, 2014 @ 5:36pm

These Owl Physics! Fun, I like it, but difficult!

Mach60KAS says ...
Dec 14, 2014 @ 10:23pm

Interesting game, though I think "realistic owl physics" might not be the best descriptor. :I Graphics were nice, I liked the reflections! I recommend toning down the hurricane a little, though - it's hard enough trying to catch the fish, let alone not becoming red paste on the cliffside. Still, great effort; keep it up!

Dec 15, 2014 @ 5:39am

Unique entry to the theme. You weren't the only one who had a difficult time to whip up an idea for the theme, but you created a unique game. It was frustrating to navigate the owl in a good way obviously, so this was a nice design choice, given the theme provided.


Dec 15, 2014 @ 10:52pm


Thanks for the nice feedback. :)
I think I missed my original thought of the hurricane being predictable in some sort of GUI way, and made it the annoying loss-of-control feature that it is right now. Right now you get punished for playing the game.

Nielz says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 6:13am


pcmaster says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 3:39pm

I always flew to the side, very difficult.

DeathBySnail says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 4:20pm

Rotate the owl. Good stuff.

xaedes says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 5:44pm

The compo version was very hard to control. But with the WASD-Control of the post-compo it was managable for me and got really addictive. The online score didnt work btw =(.
Reminds me off flappy bird =) As well as the sounds.
Great Game!

Dec 19, 2014 @ 6:02pm

@xaedes Happy that you cared to try both versions. :)
If you used the full WASD-Control scheme the online scoring is not supposed to work, as it is a bit easier to control and thus unfair to put against the scores of people who used the original control scheme. ^^

ramonparaiba says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 8:58pm

Hey bro, your game is nice..

Rothens says ...
Dec 19, 2014 @ 9:24pm

Excellent! :D

01rafael says ...
Dec 20, 2014 @ 10:24pm

Owl is cute! xD

schnerble says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 2:23am

... must... stop... playing! :) This is great! It's very hard, but the mechanics work very well. I spent ages on the original, and then remembered about the post-jam version - which is definitely a bit easier, but I always had the most trouble with the underwater time, which I think is about the same.
Three things: - it's very hard to come back once you're off the right edge; - I saw a bug that teleported me from above the screen to underwater; - I saw another bug where the second play of the post-jam version showed only a dark blue screen, but was still running.
Anyway, great work - a simple idea and very well done!

Dec 21, 2014 @ 11:27am

@schnerble You're definitely right in the things you say. I should probably have tweaked the underwater mechanic in the Post-Jam version too.
I think the right edge simply is a design flaw. It's really poorly implemented anyhow.


freaknarf says ...
Dec 21, 2014 @ 12:07pm

Very good ! It reminded me worms 2 because of the wind effect :) good concept, sfx and visuals glitches makes it really enjoyable !!!
How did you manage to do the "game over glitches" sir BarrensZeppelin ? Also i think online ranking is wrecked or something :)

Dec 21, 2014 @ 12:14pm

Difficult indeed. :D Needed quite a few tries to even stay in screen for once.. and a few more to make it back to the nest. So much wind!
The owl physics are spot on though. Watched a documentary on the topic once and they explained it pretty much as it is in the game. Also the title screen is lovely. :)

Dec 21, 2014 @ 1:05pm

@freaknarf I'm thrilled you liked it! And about the glitches, do you mean screen shake? Screen shake is pretty easy to achieve if you have some sort of camera functionality implemented in your graphics library. Simply offset the center of the camera by a random (small) amount each frame while still keeping track of the actual center. This is of course a really simple solution. There are a lot more complex and elaborate methods out there. :)

@ShellfishGames We must've watched the same documentary ;)

Poupi says ...
Dec 25, 2014 @ 1:54am

Really nice ;)

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